A one-size-fits-all approach to group insurance won’t suit the various jobs and personal circumstances of industry fund members.

For this reason, it is therefore critical for insurers and funds to work together to tailor their products and communication methods to increase member engagement.

No matter what the demographic, insurance is not front of mind for most Australians. This is evident in the $3.1 trillion underinsurance issue we face. It’s also evident in the fact that 82 per cent of the population hold only the default level of life cover through their superannuation fund. Addressing this issue is both a challenge and a priority for the industry. Accordingly, funds are increasingly seeking to improve their levels of default cover and to add product features that meet the varying needs of their member bases. They are also seeking to help Australians understand the importance of insurance by finding new ways to communicate with their members.

This article examines four fund types and considers the product features and engagement strategies that best meet their needs.

Male dominated, full time, blue collar
Insurance activity in this demographic is primarily driven by life events. That is, the trigger for full-time blue collar working men to consider their insurance needs is likely to be an event such as turning 40, a child’s birth, marriage or buying his first home.

It can also be typical for members of such funds to work overseas. In these cases the insurance product design must provide for continued cover.

The “hard facts” are the best way to engage this group. For example, one in three Australian men aged 35–64 will suffer a disability that renders them unable to work for six months or more.

Members of this group do not typically have access to a personal computer at work, so appropriate communication channels include a company newsletter or radio station, site visits and lunch-room flyers with powerful statements such as “Income protection. Goes to work when you can’t”. Also, with 37 per cent of Australians now owning a smart phone, 57 per cent of Australian males on Facebook and 57 per cent regularly viewing YouTube, social networking must be considered an important communication tool for this group.

Female, full time
CommInsure data reveals that females suffer more cases of disablement than males. To address this fact, products designed for funds with full-time female employees must provide for longer periods of disability, allow insurance cover to continue in the event of a career break such as maternity leave and allow the level of income protection to remain unchanged during this period. Plus, partial income protection benefits and rehabilitation programs are of value.

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